Jelmer van Doorn – Process domain study

Process domain study in two sub-catchments of the Vindel River: data about geology and channel slope with the influence of the former highest coastline of Sweden for streams in the Hjuksån and Bjurbäcken sub-catchment.

Process domains are spatially distinct areas along streams with characteristic geomorphological history and processes. Using the process domain concept (PDC), the spatial variability of geomorphic processes can be described. These processes govern temporal patterns of disturbances, which affects the morphology of a river system and the formation of the physical habitat to which organisms adapt. In this way, geomorphic processes form the base for the biodiversity and functioning of the river ecosystem, and the PDC can be useful for the management of river systems. In northern Sweden, it is expected that channel slope, types of glacial landforms, including the former highest coastline (based on post-glacial rebound) and the type of sediments present play an important role in structuring the ecosystem.

In my project, I will apply the PDC in two sub-catchments of the Vindel river catchment: Hjuksån (below the former highest coastline) and Bjurbäcken (above the former highest coastline). I have assembled data about geology (surficial and glacial sediments) and elevation (DEM). With the DEM, it is possible to calculate the channel slope of streams. Based on a classification for channel slope and sediment type, I identified 9 process domains (see table below). Although ecological data is not studied, the data about process domains, geology and channel slope can provide, together with data about the effects of colonist pools, an integrated and catchment-scale view of geomorphic and ecological processes in order to improve the restoration of streams in northern Sweden.


Figure: The Vindel River (blue line) with its catchment (orange) and the two sub-catchments of the tributaries Hjuksån and Bjurbäcken with their locations related to the former highest coastline (red line). Rectangle on inset map shows the location of the detailed map.

Table: proposed process domains (A-I) tributaries to the Vindel River, based on channel slope and sediment type.